New research on the impact of waiting for a social home: call for participants

Posted: 12th April 2024 Bekah Ryder, Research & Insights Manager

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Wheatley Group have commissioned Altair Consultancy and Advisory Services Limited (Altair) to conduct research on the experiences of people waiting for social housing in Scotland.

The research will gather stories from some of the almost 250,000 people waiting for a social homes, and from the housing association and local authority staff managing the allocation of social housing to those waiting.

Why are we doing this research?

Following the Scottish government’s announcement of a 26% cut to its affordable housebuilding programme for 2024-25, it is important now more than ever that we tell the stories of those affected by our lack of social housing.

Through the research, we want to understand the circumstances of those needing and waiting for social homes, and the pressures faced by staff when allocating them.

What is involved in the research?

The research is in its early stages. In the next few weeks, we will be looking to recruit participants for short interviews by telephone who:

  • Are waiting for a new social home, including existing social tenants looking to transfer. We’d like to interview people with a range of different housing needs, from those experiencing homelessness to those living in overcrowded or otherwise unsuitable homes; people who have been waiting for a long or short time.
  • Staff of housing associations and local authorities who manage housing lists and the allocation of social housing. We’d like to talk to staff from across the country, with different housing markets and crises.

Participation is anonymous. Importantly, being involved in the research will not affect your housing situation. You will not be able to find a home quicker or be penalised for taking part in the research. If you work for a housing association or local authority, it will not affect your job.

We would be grateful to all SFHA members, and to their local authority partners, for helping us find participants for the research from their own staff and people on their housing waiting lists. We can send you text or images to help with this.

How will the research be used?

The findings of the research will be published later this year and will guide SFHA policy and campaigns, making change for people who need a decent, warm and affordable home. We also hope it will offer employers insight into how housing staff find their jobs, given the scarcity of social housing.

If you want to understand how your data will be used as part of the research, then you can find our privacy notice here.

How can I find out more?

You can read more about the research in the information sheet, available to download:

If you are on a housing list waiting for social housing, or are a housing association or local authority managing a housing list, and are interested in taking part in the research, please contact Bekah Ryder, Research and Insights Manager at Altair on

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